Your Autoresponder Is Your Virtual Customer Service Centre

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With so many ways to drive traffic to your online business, your first marketing campaign may result in a huge response. And you may need a “customer service center” to help you with building a reputation of good customer contact.

Today’s online customer want and expect immediate attention when they send an email with a question or clarification. They don’t want to wait for days. In fact, some customers won’t even wait 12 or 24 hours for a response. If they don’t hear back from you almost in an instant, they’ll go somewhere else.

The worst case scenario for any new business is lack of response to new customers.

And that’s where autoresponders come in – to help take off some of the load of responding to information requests or questions. How do you set it up? Let’s do it.

1. Finding the Right Autoresponder

The top autoresponders are AWeber.com, GetResponse.com and MailChimp.com. MailChimp.com has an always free program that you can upgrade later when you start making more sales.

You can find out how to use any one of these autoresponders by looking them up on YouTube and following the video tutorials.

2. Setting Up Your Email Accounts

You’ll probably need at least two or three different email accounts that you link to different areas of your site.

For example, in your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, you could set up ‘[email protected]

If you have a contact page for general emails, your email form might be linked to ‘[email protected]

And for technical support so visitors can report any technical problems with your site, you can set up ‘[email protected]

And lastly, you should have an optin box for people to sign up for news and updates. You can have that optin box linked to ‘[email protected]

3. Setting up the Autoresponder Email Replies

For FAQ and tech support questions, you may only need to set up one-time replies with a template email.

Believe it or not, you could have an FAQ section on your site that some people won’t even bother looking through. So for any FAQ emails, your instant response may have a list of the questions with links to the Q&A on your site.

Obviously you’ll want to include a statement that the customer’s email will be looked at personally and be responded to within 12-24 hours, but in the meantime, they can look through the FAQ in the email response.

Similar to FAQ, your tech support autoresponder may have suggestions for lost emails, forgotten passwords, or links to resetting passwords.

Again, be sure to include that the customer’s email will be looked at personally and be responded to within 12-24 hours.

For general inquiry emails, your virtual customer service centre can reply with a generic response template that simply thanks the customer for their feedback and again, that the customer’s email will be looked at personally and be responded to within 12-24 hours.

4. Autoresponder Newsletters and Updates

This is where your optin box is linked to your ‘[email protected]’ and its primary function is to capture the names and emails of your repeat visitors.

“The money is in the list” is what most of the top online marketers say, and it’s true. Why?

Remember, your online business is a people business, and requires you build a positive rapport with every visitor that comes to your site.

As customers sign up to receive news and information, that’s what they’ll expect. But use your autoresponder wisely. You don’t want to irritate your customers with daily emails trying to sell them something.

You want to provide value and information first. For example, if you’re selling a specific software program, your autoresponder series may be set up with articles about why that piece of software is important, how it can help them and how others are using it.

You can send emails that talk about problems that other customers have had and how the software solved that problem.

Obviously you want to include subtle links to your site, but you definitely don’t want every email to sound like an in-your-face advertisement.

Remember, again, your autoresponder is your virtual customer service centre. Think about customer service centres at local retail stores and services. When you go the customer service counter to ask a question, the employees aren’t walking advertisements for products. They’re there to help. And that’s what your autoresponder messages should do too – help.

Helping your customers and potential clients is the key way to building trust and building relationships. Meaningful communication without blatant advertising will go a long way in helping you succeed in your online business.

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